THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) wants to provide markets to products of peoples’ organizations (POs) in Western Visayas.
This was the focus of the Visayas-wide P.O. Summit 2018 themed, “People’s Organization: Environmental Synergy Amidst Project Diversity; Linking People to Market Opportunities” held Sept 13, 2018, at the Diversion 21 Hotel, Iloilo City.
DENR-6 assistant regional director for Technical Services Levi Duran said they want to assure that there are market and investment opportunities for local products.
“Discussions during the summit are aligned at improving production, post-harvest or processing, marketing, and access to investments,” he said.
Duran said they eye coffee as the primary commodity for POs for market promotion. He added that they want to bring Nestle to Panay.
During the summit, there were discussions on product packaging and marketing by Arli John P. Nim, enterprise development expert; value chain approach and promotion in coffee and cacao by Rodelin T. Malones, value chain coordinator; and presentation of Bambuhay (social enterprise) by its founder Sultan Mark D. Gersava.
Duran said they have already learned from their previous mistake in the year 2000 wherein they planted atsuete or annatto seeds in a 200-hectare area in Maasin town.
During that time the amount of production could not be catered by local markets alone.
“The 200-hectate plantation could already supply the entire Asia. However, the government was not prepared during that time to link them to international markets,” he said.
For coffee production, DENR is now identifying areas for plantation. The agency is also talking to companies to assist in the processing of products of boosting of production.
Around 700 POs from Western, Central, and Eastern Visayas gathered for the event.
POs are those directly involved in the implementation of DENR programs such as the community-based forest management program, national greening program, forest management program, coastal resource management areas, and protected areas.
“The people’s organizations are our strength that is why we want to involve them in our programs,” Duran said.
‘TAYO ANG KALIKASAN’
Simultaneous with the event, the DENR also launched the “Tayo ang Kalikasan” advocacy campaign for Visayas Cluster. It is a program for restoration, rehabilitation, and development (PRRDP).
The launching was followed by the signing of the Tayo ang Kalikasan Commitment Wall.
DENR Undersecretary Rodolfo Garcia served as guest speaker and also led the signing of the commitment wall.
During the summit, the DENR also cited its partners in the implementation of environmental programs.